The 1964 Tsunami Strikes Kodiak


The city of Kodiak was struck by 30-foot waves from the tectonic tsunami, which destroyed most of the waterfront industries, including the Standard Oil Company, the Alaksa King Crab Company, and much of the fishing fleet. Following the earthquake, the Kodiak authorities were aware of the tsunami threat, and managed to evacuate most residents to high ground. The warning however, did more harm than good for the local fishermen, who, instead of evacuating too higher ground, ran to the harbor to save their boats. The tsunami killed total of 15 people in the Kodiak area, including six of the above mentioned fishermen. The waves also caused approxiamtely 11 million dollars in damage.

Several other coastal communities along Kodiak Island were damaged by the tsunami as well. In particular, the Eskimo villages of Old Harbor and Kaguyak were leveled by 30- and 50-foot tsunami waves, respectively. Amidst the chaos though, the radio operator at Kaguyak managed to broadcast several warning messages to the surrounding communities, which alerted the city of Kodiak to the danger, and helped to save many lives.



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